Cultured Networks of Excitatory Projection Neurons and Inhibitory Interneurons for Studying Human Cortical Neurotoxicity

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  Unmet Need:  Translating neuroprotective treatments from discovery in cell and animal models to the clinic has proven challenging. To reduce the gap between basic studies of neurotoxicity and neuroprotection and clinically relevant therapies, JHU scientists developed a human cortical neuron culture system from human embryonic stem cells or human inducible pluripotent stem cells that generated both excitatory and inhibitory neuronal networks resembling the composition of the human cortex.
Technical Details: This cell culture methodology uses timed administration of retinoic acid to neural precursor cells leading to differentiation of neuronal populations representative of the six cortical layers with both excitatory and inhibitory neuronal networks that were functional and homeostatically stable. This culture system provides a new platform for the study of human cortical neurotoxicity and suggests that PARP inhibitors may be useful for ameliorating excitotoxic and ischemic cell death in human neurons.

Stage of development/data: In vitro experimental results
Publications: Sci Transl Med. 2016 Apr 6;8(333):333ra48.
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Carole Burns
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